ICONIC SCENE: Take those down, guys. It’s January already…

STORY DATE: December 2011


BROADCAST DATE: June 19, 1983

1. I like that the Christmas episode starts in a very un-Christmas-like atmosphere, with snakes eating birds and sweaty Zentradi.

2. Hikaru realizes he’s been a dick and wants to make it up to Misa… by inviting her out to tea. Yeah, I’m sure that’ll work. Chicks dig tea.

3. Meanwhile, Minmay has apparently blown everything off and run away, and is hanging out in a (lovingly detailed) playground. And then she shows up at Hikaru’s door, and all thoughts of making up with Misa fly out of his head.

4. And, Misa’s planning to go back to Hikaru… NO, MISA, NO!!! He’s done nothing but play head games with you, you don’t need the drama! Have some self-respect! (Plus, he’s not alone right now…)

Meanwhile, Claudia heads to the pub to get drunk.

So yeah, Misa shows up, hears Minmay’s voice, closes the door, and leaves to go off and get drunk herself.

And can I just point out that the open door and overheard conversation is straight out of soap opera cliché?

It’s hard not to feel bad for her, even though at this point she’s doing it to herself. There was no reason for her to go to Hikaru’s place; last episode’s hijinx are all on him, and walking away was the best thing she could’ve done. Opening herself up at this point is just an invitation for him to be thoughtlessly cruel again.

5. Claudia leaves the pub, sees a couple walk past, remembers Roy, feels sad, and realizes that she hasn’t “drunk his share yet.” Considering how Roy could put ’em away, if she’s drinking for herself AND him, is it any wonder that I suspect she’s an alcoholic now?

Anyway, she comes across Misa, who’s pretty well plastered and singing the best cover of “Sunset Beach” ever (which, like a number of songs and music cues from the show, is not on any soundtrack release).

6. At the very least, there’s no hanky-panky going on here (yet). Minmay’s in Hikaru’s bed, and Hikaru’s sleeping on the couch. Although, for the first time since her shower in Episode 4, she’s wearing one of his shirts and nothing else.

7. And then Kamujin attacks “Onogi City” (a tribute, of course, to series writer and post-war episodes planner Hiroshi Ohnogi), starting off with a “kill the guy who smokes” cliché common to ’90s action movies like “Volcano” and “Deep Blue Sea.” And hey, Max and Milia launch to deal with them! Man, we haven’t seen them since Episode 30!

(Hikaru and Max may have been good friends while they were in the same Valk team, but I get the feeling they’ve drifted apart since Max got married and had a kid.)

During the battle (which, I note, uses A LOT of recycled footage, but it’s some of the best footage from other episodes, so I don’t mind too much), Milia and Lap’Lamiz recognize each other, and you’d THINK there would be a big showdown between them, but there isn’t.

8. One thing I really like in this episode are the cross-cutting scenes, as we see Hikaru getting into his Valk as it cuts back and forth to the conversation leading up to his leaving the house. And then later, as Minmay drops the pineapple, and its falling is cross-cut with her running home, ending with the pineapple hitting the ground and switching to an explosion.

I guess at this point we can say that pineapples really ARE harbingers of doom in Macross…?

9. And then the bombs go off (featuring the only part of this Christmas episode to have a guy in a Santa suit), and the two explosion scenes are lovely.

Then something really unusual happens, where the survivors gather around a church and sing “Silent Night.” There’s more Jesus in this one scene than there is in any dozen American TV Christmas specials. It’s especially odd, because in Japan, Christmas is essentially a romantic holiday for couples… which brings us to the next scene (well, after another confrontation where Hikaru is (justifiably, this time) angry with Misa, and the Macross getting illuminated with Christmas lights).

Minmay has made a whole candlelit dinner for her and Hikaru, with Christmas cake and everything. She asks him to quit the military, but he ignores that for now. They kiss, and the clear implication is that they’re going to have sex next.

10. So Macross finally gets its Christmas episode, although not the one they were initially planning (that one’s included as a short story with the “Snow Falling in the Galaxy” Macross Christmas album, and it’s cute).

Of course, there’s the general weirdness of this episode airing in June rather than December (Urusei Yatsura did a similar thing at one point, but for laughs), but no matter. Hikaru finally hooks up with Minmay, which would be a more exciting development if we hadn’t realized that they’re basically all wrong for each other. Honestly, if last episode wasn’t the final straw for Misa (and it should’ve been), THIS should really be. It’s not, of course. But that’s next episode.


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